Research Webinar – Karen Elliott & Glenn Smith


Design for Data-Driven Products
Glenn Smith, Founder and CEO of Roqqett & Karen Elliott, Associate Professor, Newcastle University
Thursday 28th May @ 4pm

This webinar welcomed two speakers to explore the value of design within the many complicated parts of the digital economy. Glenn Smith, Founder and CEO of Roqqett, and Karen Elliott, Newcastle University, have deep experiences from building startups, managing digital transformation projects, and leading a responsible approach to innovation. Glenn and Karen are involved in projects (past and present) that forge new products and services that build value through an integrated approach to design, marketing and an innovative use of technology, but both recognise the challenges in enabling these ‘cultures’ to work together.

Following an introductory talk from Glenn on the need for design (more than ever) to drive the development of data-driven products and services, Karen responded by underlining the need for ethical frameworks that support transparency in a time when design can over simplify the flow of data and hide the bias of algorithms to achieve an easy to use product.


Dr Karen Elliott

Dr Karen Elliott is a Senior Lecturer in Enterprise & Innovation at Newcastle University Business School. Her passion lies in addressing questions around the topic of financial technology, often shortened to ‘FinTech’; a major growth industry in the UK and a burgeoning sector in the North East region where Karen currently lives.

Often referring to herself as a ‘pracademic’, by this she means that she has had a varied career that has involved working in industry as an entrepreneur, as well as having an academic career that align to her practical experience in her chosen subject area.

Karen and her colleagues were awarded a £1.2m EPSRC Research grant in 2018 to work with Durham Based nationally renowned Atom Bank on optimising FinTech services. FinTrust examines the issue of trust and ethical AI in FinTech organisations, identifying the generic research challenges and establishing fundamental results. A particular focus is on increased automation through the use of machine learning algorithms, in short, trust engineering where the use of algorithms present challenges to consumer transparency and thus, trust via the new services.

Lecturing since 2004 on the assets of innovation cultures at both Durham and Newcastle University Business School, Karen is an enthusiastic teacher, nominated for an ‘outstanding contribution to teaching’ award and integrates her research within the digital ‘Future of Work’ sector to inform her modules, particularly focusing on embedding ‘industry’ skills to postgraduate and PhD students.

Twitter: elliott_kekite

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/karen-elliott-3b692725


Glenn Smith

Founder and CEO of Roqqett, a revolutionary fintech unleashing digital innovation on all elements of the payment process. Roqqett creates simple and beautiful products that mutually benefit consumers and retailers, transforming the relationship between them while simultaneously setting new standards in personal privacy.

Over the last 10 years, has been a founder, investor, advisor and executive for technology start-ups.

Previously co-founded Maplebird, a robotics company developing artificial bees, voted the most innovative company in the South West in 2014.

Robotics needed better algorithms to work, and therefore switched focus to AI after a lunch with a Deepmind founder. Roles included CEO of Cloudfind in Bath and then as COO and Head of Product of CognitionX, the company that runs CogX, the biggest AI festival in Europe.

Previously was a director of oneDrum, a software start-up that was sold to Yammer in 2012 which in turn was acquired by Microsoft in a 1.2 billion dollar transaction.

Prior to focusing on technology startups, had a 15 year career in Investment Banking running global derivative trading businesses, with a strong track record in delivering best in class e-commerce tools for UBS and Barclays Capital.

Studied Manufacturing and Systems Engineering with Management at University.

Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glenn-smith-uk/


Photo credit: You X Ventures

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